Sarasota Bay Watch Happenings by Larry Stults

Sarasota Bay Watch has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF). The conservation grant recognizes Sarasota Bay Watch’s efforts to restore scallops to our local bays and waterways.

Sarasota Bay Watch President Jeff Birnbach says, “This generous support from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund underscores the importance of protecting and restoring our marine environment, and rebuilding robust and thriving ecosystems in Sarasota Bay. This grant, along with $10,000 from area organizations and $20,000 in donations from local individuals is a tremendous boost to our community-led scallop restoration project, which has already released 54 million scallop larvae into the bay over the last two years.”

The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund focuses on protecting wildlife and connecting kids and families with nature. Since its founding in 1995, DWCF has provided more than $25 million to support conservation programs in 114 countries. Projects were selected to receive awards based upon their efforts to study wildlife, protect habitats and develop community conservation and education programs in critical ecosystems.

For information on Disney’s commitment to conserve nature and a complete list of 2014 grant recipients, visit www.disney.com/conservation.

In other news, Sarasota Bay Watch joined forces with Sarasota Sailing Squadron and Audubon for its annual Fishing Line Cleanup. Volunteers fanned our across the bay in their boats to remove entanglement threats like fishing line and fishing tackle. Special attention was paid to local seabird rookeries. SBW also shared a booth with the Science and Environment Council of Southwest Florida at the Anna Maria Island Bayfest. Thanks to SBW Board member Steve Traves and AMI Outfitters for hosting our booth on Anna Maria’s lovely and green Pine Avenue.

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